Monday 21 May 2012

Kurosaki quits after Iwata hit Niigata for six; Sapporo thrashed by seven-up Kashima

Hisashi Kurosaki has resigned as manager of Albirex Niigata in the wake of a 6-1 home drubbing at the hands of Jubilo Iwata which left his team five points adrift of safety.

The visitors raced into an early two-goal lead thanks to close range strikes from Cho Byung-Kuk and Ryoichi Maeda, before a second yellow card for Albirex defender Kim Jin-Su just before half time dealt a fatal blow to any hopes of avoiding a seventh league defeat of the campaign.

Jamaican-born Musashi Shingo was introduced for his debut at the start of the second half and immediately made an impact with series of dazzling solo runs, winning the free kick from which Seiya Fujita pulled one back via the head of an opposing defender.

But by that point, Iwata had already added a third through Yuki Kobayashi, and they continued on in relentless fashion to storm away with further goals from Takuya Matsuura, Maeda, and Hiroki Yamada in the final quarter of the match.

There was an even worse humiliation in store for bottom side Consadole Sapporo, as they went down 7-0 to a Kashima Antlers outfit whose season continues to swing between the sublime and the ridiculous.

Without a goal in three league matches prior to Saturday, Jorginho’s men had two in the opening quarter of an hour after a move brilliantly started and finished by central defender Daiki Iwamasa was followed by a penalty from Yuya Osako.

Sapporo thought that Ryuji Kawai had pulled one back only for the officials to rule that the ball had not crossed the line, and their hopes quickly faded further when Japan under-23 captain Kazuya Yamamura netted his first J. League goal for Kashima shortly before the interval.

Antlers were in rampant mood throughout the second period with four further players finding the scoresheet – Shinzo Koroki, Masashi Motoyama, Juninho, and Yasushi Endo.

Gamba Osaka complete the bottom three after they could only move level on points with Niigata, albeit with one game in hand, following a scoreless draw away to Yokohama F. Marinos.

Yuji Nakazawa looked to have unwittingly bundled the visitors into the lead only for his own goal to be disallowed for a push by his namesake, Gamba defender Sota. Marinos then had the ideal opportunity to seal a fifth straight league win when Manabu Saito was clipped by Daiki Niwa, only for former Japan star Shunsuke Nakamura to strike the crossbar with the resulting penalty kick.

Champions Kashiwa Reysol pulled level with Cerezo Osaka, five points clear of the drop zone, as two assists from Hiroki Sakai laid on a 2-1 away win at the Nagai Stadium.


Despite the slight wobble that had seen them pick up just two points from their previous three matches, Vegalta Sendai laid down another marker of their championship credentials by stretching their lead back out to five with a 4-0 rout of Nagoya Grampus.

In another decisively efficient performance, Sendai took the lead on 38 minutes through a tight-angled finish from Ryang Yong-Gi, who then sent in a corner for Shingo Akamine to head in via the unfortunate Takahiro Masukawa right on half time.

Grampus sent Marcus Tulio Tanaka up front as they looked to hit back in the second half, but when his 86th-minute attempt was superbly cleared off the line by Jiro Kamata, Vegalta broke for Wilson to coolly seal the win seconds thereafter. Naoki Sugai added a fourth in added time.

The chasing pack has become more condensed than ever after Yuki Abe’s solitary goal gave Urawa Reds a 1-0 win over 10-man Shimizu S-Pulse, who fall to third on goal difference. Sanfrecce Hiroshima are up to second after a thrilling late goal rush saw them beat Vissel Kobe 3-2.

Kawasaki Frontale climb to seventh thanks to a 2-0 victory at Omiya Ardija, while a hat-trick from substitute Kazuma Watanabe in the final quarter of an hour allowed FC Tokyo to recover from two down and dramatically edge Sagan Tosu 3-2.

- Impressive wins in midweek for Kashiwa Reysol and Nagoya Grampus, away at Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and at home to Central Coast Mariners respectively, saw them clinch their places alongside FC Tokyo in the last 16 of the Asian Champions League.
- Cerezo Osaka have announced that Japan attacking midfielder Hiroshi Kiyotake will leave the club for Bundesliga side 1.FC Nürnberg on 1 July.

J1 results (matchday 12)
Yokohama F Marinos 0-0 Gamba Osaka
Sanfrecce Hiroshima 3-2 Vissel Kobe
Albirex Niigata 1-6 Jubilo Iwata
Urawa Reds 1-0 Shimizu S-Pulse
Omiya Ardija 0-2 Kawasaki Frontale
Kashima Antlers 7-0 Consadole Sapporo
Vegalta Sendai 4-0 Nagoya Grampus
Cerezo Osaka 1-2 Kashiwa Reysol
FC Tokyo 3-2 Sagan Tosu

J2 results (matchday 15)
Montedio Yamagata 2-1 FC Gifu
Mito HollyHock 0-2 Ehime FC
Matsumoto Yamaga 0-2 Yokohama FC
Kataller Toyama 0-1 Avispa Fukuoka
Tokushima Vortis 3-0 Gainare Tottori
Giravanz Kitakyushu 1-5 Tokyo Verdy
Ventforet Kofu 2-0 Thespa Kusatsu
Tochigi SC 1-1 Shonan Bellmare
JEF United Chiba 4-0 Roasso Kumamoto
Fagiano Okayama 1-2 Kyoto Sanga
Oita Trinita 2-1 Machida Zelvia

AFC Champions League group stage results (East Asia, matchday 6)
Group E
Gamba Osaka (JPN) 0-2 Adelaide United (AUS)
Bunyodkor (UZB) 1-0 Pohang Steelers (KOR)
Final standings: ADELAIDE UNITED 13, BUNYODKOR 10, Pohang Steelers 9, Gamba Osaka 3

Group F
Brisbane Roar (AUS) 1-1 Beijing Guoan (CHN)
Ulsan Hyundai (KOR) 1-0 FC Tokyo (JPN)
Final standings: ULSAN HYUNDAI 14, FC TOKYO 11, Brisbane Roar 3, Beijing Guoan 3

Group G
Nagoya Grampus (JPN) 3-0 Central Coast Mariners (AUS)
Tianjin Teda (CHN) 0-3 Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma (KOR)
Final standings: SEONGNAM ILHWA CHUNMA 10, NAGOYA GRAMPUS 10, Central Coast Mariners 6, Tianjin Teda 3

Group H
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (KOR) 0-2 Kashiwa Reysol (JPN)
Buriram United (THA) 1-2 Guangzhou Evergrande (CHN)
Final standings: GUANGZHOU EVERGRANDE 10, KASHIWA REYSOL 10, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 9, Buriram United 6

Yamazaki Nabisco Cup group stage results (matchday 4)
Group A
Kawasaki Frontale 0-3 Urawa Reds
Cerezo Osaka 2-1 Sanfrecce Hiroshima
Sagan Tosu 3-2 Jubilo Iwata

Group B
Omiya Ardija 1-1 Consadole Sapporo
Vissel Kobe 1-2 Shimizu S-Pulse
Yokohama F Marinos 3-2 Kashima Antlers

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